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Contingency of Theory Leadership

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Contingency Theory of Leadership

        The importance of a strong leadership can never be over emphasized in an organization.  Leadership and management are needed to achieve optimal results in product or service. Leaders are needed to envision goals and inspire the members of the organization and managers are needed to develop, structure and over see the execution of those plans.  

Despite Amazon’s unconventional organization and leadership, the overall goal is the customer.  With a clear vision and supportive leadership employee performance can be less stressful and yield a high performance.  Amazon’s leadership style includes these aspects but also encourages individuals to use out of the box thinking to solve issues and encourages innovation.  The Leader-Participation Model is the contingency theory of leadership that best resonates with Amazon.  “Like path-goal theory, it says leader behavior must adjust to reflect the task structure but does not cover all leadership behaviors and is limited to recommending what types of decisions might be best made with subordinate participation.”  (Robbins & Judge, 2017, p. 389).  Employees at Amazon are provided with the necessary tools to work at the high level they are expected to but are also empowered to develop solutions for issues they can fix themselves.  

Jeff Bezos can be described as a charismatic leader.  Charismatic leaders can be described as having vision, willing to take personal risks to achieve that vision, are sensitive to follower needs, and exhibit extraordinary behaviors.  Charismatic leaders use a vision statement to clearly convey the goal or purpose and they build confidence with high performance expectations and the belief that employees can achieve them.  “By having high expectations of his employees, Bezos has created an incredibly efficient machine.”  (Blazek, 2016).  Successful charismatic leadership can unite individuals under the goals of the organization and develop a high functioning, efficient culture.  Transformational leadership and charismatic leadership have many similarities.  The foundation of both leadership theories is the ability to inspire employees, provide vision, and instill pride to achieve high expectations.  Transformational leaders empower leadership behaviors which can lead to a feeling of control among employees.  The sense of belonging or being a part of the organization leads to increased creativity at work, which is what The Amazon Way is all about.  “People do everything themselves.  That kind of self-reliance is something you can learn, and my grandfather was a huge role model for me:  If something is broken, let’s fix it.”  (Blazek, 2016).  This kind of vision is what transformed Amazon from an online bookstore to an online retailer with over 20 million products and media streaming service.

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